Issue 15: November 09
Dear Fancy,

How do cats manage to squeeze into such small places, and why do you all apparently like to do this so much?

-Dan (with two tuxedo cats)

Dear Dan,

The short answer to both parts of your question is "Because we can."

Here's the slightly longer answer. Our skeletal system allows us to be quite flexible. We have no rigid collarbone like you humans, so we have much greater range of movement in our shoulders. In addition, the vertebrae (segments) in our backbones can twist and turn in ways that human vertebrae cannot. All in all, we're built to sneak into some mighty small places.

Why do we seem to enjoy squeezing through narrow spaces, not to mention stuffing ourselves into boxes that were clearly designed for a pair of shoes, not a pair of cats? Well, we are curious—we want to know what's behind every door, and we want to see if we can fit into any structure that's new to us. Also, cats, like humans, get pleasure from doing things they're good at; we're good at contorting our bodies and at being stealthy, so naturally we're attracted to hiding places.



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